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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8721940, 10 pages
Research Article

An Investigation of Geography and Climate Induced Distresses Patterns on Airfield Pavements at US Air Force Installations

1United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, USA
2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 S Maryland Parkway, P.O. Box 454015, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA
3Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Avenida Brasil 2830, 2340031 Valparaíso, Chile

Correspondence should be addressed to Alexander Paz

Received 10 February 2017; Revised 28 March 2017; Accepted 11 April 2017; Published 14 May 2017

Academic Editor: Francesco Marotti de Sciarra

Copyright © 2017 Lauren K. Sahagun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigated climate induced distresses patterns on airfield pavements at US Air Force installations. A literature review and surveys of Pavement Condition Index indicated that the predominant factor contributing to the development of pavement distress was climate. Results suggested that, within each type of pavement distress, a geographic pattern exists which is strongly correlated to conventional US climate zones. The US Air Force Roll-Up Database, housing over 50,000 records of pavement distress data, was distilled using a process designed to combine similar distresses while accounting for age and size of samples. The process reduced the data to a format that could be used to perform krig analysis and to develop pavement behavior models for runways built with asphalt cement (AC) and Portland cement concrete (PCC). Regression and krig analyses were conducted for each distress type to understand distress behavior among climate zones. Combined regression and krig analyses provided insight into the overall pavement behavior for AC and PCC runways and illustrated which climate zone was more susceptible to specific pavement distresses. Distress behavior tends to be more severe in the eastern US for AC and in the western US for PCC runway pavements, respectively.